Warning: Trying to access array offset on value of type bool in /home/jcpartners/www/www/wp-content/plugins/cmsmasters-content-composer/inc/shortcodes.php on line 818


White River Marine Association


The White River Fish Sanctuary is a gazetted marine protected area (special fisheries conservation area) that spans 150 hectares in the reefs west and east of the White River, off the coast of Ocho Rios. The protected area is demarcated to hinder the removal of, or detriment caused to marine organisms and their environs. The sanctuary operates under the mantra “Protect-Restore-Engage” and utilizes community involvement to foster a sense of ownership and pride in protecting the environment.

The goal of this community-led project is to work with local fishermen to bring back marine life and to rebuild the area for the benefit of the entire community. The project was initiated by the White River fishing community who wanted a ‘no take zone’, as their catch had decreased more than 600% in the last 50 years.

White River Fish Sanctuary and White River Influences on the Protected Area

<i class="fas fa-chevron-right"></i> <i class="fas fa-chevron-down"></i> 2017 - 2019: Phase 1

The Jamaica Conservation Partners through their support were integral in ensuring the continued involvement of the community in the project. Allocated funds were used for the salaries of the game wardens who ensured the enforcement of the boundaries. It was imperative that the area was physically patrolled 24/7 to educate and, if need be, prosecute people who take anything out of the sea (fish, coral, shells, starfish, etc.) within the sanctuary boundary. Only then would recovery of the marine life begin.

A five-phase five-year coral planting program was planned to rebalance the ecosystem and increase the gene pool. Keeping the fishermen out of this protected area removes one of the stresses on the ecosystem, giving fish numbers and the coral a chance to recover.
Since the WRFS was awarded the JCP grant in 2017, they have:

• Continued enforcement of the Sanctuary borders.
• Maintained daily interaction and education of community members, weekly interactions with fishermen to deter poachers and bi-weekly interaction and with Ocho Rios Marine Police.
• Engaged in media presentations of the project that highlighted the White River area, and called for greater improvements from the public sector to interject.
• Implemented enforcement training for 13 persons.

<i class="fas fa-chevron-right"></i> <i class="fas fa-chevron-down"></i> 2020 - 2022: Phase 2

The two-year project was a continuation of phase 1 and aimed to support the Sanctuary’s operations in order for them to achieve their goal of a 500% increase in fish stock in 5 years.

This was achieved through:
1. Enforcement: Sanctuary wardens patroled the Sanctuary for 16 hours 7 days a week. The wardens, who are community fishermen, were trained to protect the Sanctuary through capacity-building efforts, an effort that is expected to result in the improvement of the marine environment and fish stock within the area.

2. Water Quality Survey: An investigation was conducted into the water quality of the White River as well as waters within the Sanctuary borders, with the aim of understanding how significantly the river’s activities affect the health and success of the Sanctuary. This activity also included community engagement and sharing of proper waste management practices for the communities located along the river.


Project Location: St. Ann

Area of Intervention
. Conservation of Jamaica’s Natural Environment
. Environmental Advocacy and Awareness

To learn more about the White River Fish Sanctuary, please use the following links:
Website: www.whiteriverfishsanctuary.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/whiteriverfishsanctuary/

All donations are managed by the board of trustees of the C.B. Facey Foundation and the Jamaica Conservation Partners.

All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. Friends in the United States will also receive tax-deductible benefits by making a donation through the American Friends of Jamaica website payable to the Friends of The C.B. Facey Foundation.